FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         Contact: Alana Marino, 410-964-9329

April 26, 2012


WHAT: Open house for foster care awareness month and 130th anniversary celebration

WHEN: 5 to 7 p.m., May 16

LOCATION: 5575 Sterrett Place, Suite 200, Columbia, MD 21044

RSVP: or 410-964-9329


Local KidsPeace program hosts open house for Foster Care Awareness Month

COLUMBIA, Md. – For local children who have lost their homes, being without a caring family for even a short time can seem like an eternity.

Now imagine what’s it’s like to be alone – not for weeks, not for months … but for years. Half of the 500,000 children in the foster care system nationwide are 12 or older and they need homes, help and love just as much as younger kids – maybe more, because they’ve been waiting much longer.

May is Foster Care Awareness Month, and the KidsPeace Foster Care and Community Programs (FCCP), a community-based therapeutic foster care program in Columbia, Md., will host an open house to introduce its local community to ways in which they can support foster youth as well as to celebrate KidsPeace’s 130th birthday.

“The needs of our local foster youth are immense,” says Alana Marino, program manager. “When people ask how they can help, there are many ways that foster youth can be supported – through  providing homes, becoming a mentor, contributing financially to support programs for foster youth and attending our annual wine tasting fundraiser in May and 5K Trick-or-Trot in the fall,” Marino says.

The KidsPeace Empowering Youth to Succeed (KEYS) program is an important part of the KidsPeace foster care program. One part of KEYS is a mentoring program for children and adolescents in foster care, providing support through group activities and one-on-one relationships.

“We are working to build our volunteer mentor program because it really helps youth develop a strong sense of self-worth and strengthen their ability to interact with others in positive ways” says Jocelyn Kennedy, KEYS Coordinator. 

KidsPeace is proud to celebrate 130 years of giving hope, help and healing to children, families and communities. Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent should call 410-964-9329 or go to


About KidsPeace

Founded in 1882, KidsPeace is dedicated to serving the behavioral and mental health needs of children, preadolescents, teens and young adults, offering a comprehensive range of residential treatment programs; accredited educational services; and a variety of foster care and community-based programs to give hope, help and healing to children, families and communities. KidsPeace offers services in Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia.